Leo returned to the entrance of the same lecture room. He watched as the blind student went over his drill. It was a different song this time. It was a lot more well practices and fluent, but it still had the raw and personal touch from before.
“Again, It’s a C sharp not a double C,” master Rutherford, as Leo had come to know him, instructed. The man was standing to the side of the piano, making a beat with the tip of his fingers on its wooden surface as he urged Alejandro to create something similar.
Leo watched from the door screen, not wanting to interrupt the lesson. He’d already made inquiries asking if the man indeed took conducting. He’d received a positive answer and had come here right away.
Al tried again but finished with a little flaw.
“You’re not going to get this right without a guide it seems.”
Leo heard the master say before taking the seat on the piano opposite Al.
“Begin,” he said as Al’s fingers began to run across the keys. The master followed second but stopped somewhere in the middle clearly unable to keep up with all the substituted notes and tunes.
“What are we going to do about this?” the master sighed in frustration, pinching the bridge of his slightly crooked nose.
Maybe this isn’t a good time. Leo thought as he made to sneak away but the door creaked giving him away. Master Rutherford and Al both turned towards the noise.
“What are you doing here?” Master Rutherford asked as he got up from the stool. He approached Leo, stopping right in front of him with a blank look.
“I, err... I wanted to ask you something, but it seems I might just have to come around later,” Leo muttered as he tried to close the door. Master Rutherford wasn’t having it and pushed the door open forcefully. He glared into Leo’s green eyes with something else in mind.
“Do you play the look piano?” he asked, giving Leo an expectant look. Leo nodded before looking into the room where Al was still propped behind his piano. Al seemed strained as if he was trying to follow the conversation.
“Good. Are you familiar with the piece he just played?” the master asked further, looking towards Al.
“Yes sir,” Leo answered politely as he ran a hand through his bangs. He could feel color rush up his cheeks. The master had come to the conclusion that he’d been there all along on his own.
“Do you mind if I take part of your time? I’d like you to attempt to play with him,” The master asked, pulling the door open much wider.
Leo looked into the lecture room. It was basic, with the wooden floorboards and thick walls. He looked up at the ceiling fan that was going in slow circles as it creaked noisily.
“Of course not,” he said, walking into the room. He couldn’t miss the chance to impress his tutor to be.
Master Rutherford nodded in thanks before ushering him to the piano seat he’d occupied minutes ago. Leo frowned, realizing that there were no music sheets to reference.
“Don’t know the piece well enough?” Master Rutherford asked in a teasing voice. Leo shook his head, a rush of color running through his cheeks. He knew the piece. He wasn’t just comfortable playing without a reference.
Master Rutherford stepped back to examine the pair. Al hadn’t spoken since Leo entered the studio.
The master sighed in guilt. Al’s silence was understandable; he’d been giving him a hard time.
“Begin,” he said when he decided that the boys were ready before resting his weight on the edge of his desk.
Al and Leo both started out fine, Al having memorized the keys a little more efficiently this time. Master Rutherford nodded in content at this stage, he was waiting for the real challenge; Al’s substituted notes.
Leo frowned when Al got into the middle of the piece and started playing out of line. He stopped briefly; giving the tutor a confused looked but only received a nod and a small ‘carry on’.
He frowned but joined Al anyway. He soon fell into some sort of sync with him, editing his own notes not to match Al’s but to correct and compliment them.
Leo began to feel sweat form at the top of his brows. Keeping up with Alejandro was proving difficult. He mentally sighed in relief as the piece came to an end.
The master didn’t make any comment, just muttered a brief ‘again’.
They played four more times with Leonardo finding the changes easier to make. After the last round, Master Rutherford muttered a low thank you before calling it a day.
A small smile formed at the edge of his lips. He hadn’t made any comments but he was quite impressed and made a note to ask him back to discuss what he’d wanted to the next day.
“What do you think?” he asked as a full-blown grin formed on his lips as Leonardo shut the door behind him.
“Think about what?” Al asked, talking for the first time since Leo’s presence was recognized. He had a frown on his face as his fingers pressed random keys on the piano experimentally.
“He could keep up.” Master Rutherford pointed out as he looked out the window. Al ignored the statement, putting his concentration on the keys he was tapping. The sun rays that reflected from the windows were making the stream of colors he perceived as vision sharp and slightly painful.
“So, you’re not impressed?” the master asked in disbelief. Al snorted, adjusting on his seat.
“Anyone can keep up,” he said flatly trying to dismiss the topic of the mysterious student.
“You know that’s not true,” Mater Rutherford said with a sigh. “I could barely do it myself.”
“I want to ask him to accompany your music at least for this last year,” he announced in a low tone, in a way pleading with Al. Al frowned before shrugging. He didn’t really like the idea. He didn’t want his music to be dependent on someone else’s.
“It would be of great help with your lecture...” The master trailed, trying to bait him. He looked towards Al for a response. A few minutes passed before Al muttered a small ‘fine’.
The master smiled at getting his way. Al may not appreciate it yet but he will sooner or later. Leonardo was going to be of great help.